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SBD/May 23, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NFL Looking At Mid-May Dates For '14 Draft; Future Schedules Remain Undetermined
Published May 23, 2013
CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR: ESPN.com's John Clayton wrote it is a "mistake to push the draft back to May." The "problem is going to affect the coaches more than the fans." NFL fans would "follow the draft if it were held in July." The "concern is preparation," as coaches would have "three fewer weeks to prepare rookies for training camp." Coaches "would have a little less than a month to coach up the rookies." Under the current rules, rookie minicamps "can be held during the first two weeks in May," so a May 15 Draft would "all but eliminate" them. Except for the "problems with Radio City Music Hall, nothing is broken with the offseason schedule." The combine toward the end of February is "working well because prospects are running their 40s and doing their workouts, limiting the need for coaches and scouts to travel across the country." Moving the combine back "could interfere with players being available for their pro days in college" (ESPN.com, 5/22). FOXSPORTS.com's Schrager wrote any long-term calendar moves would "seriously alter the way football fans follow the game year-round." It also would "impact the way rosters and teams are constructed and the business of football is conducted." Schrager: "In an age when the desire for NFL news is a 24-7 craving and there’s an insatiable interest in the game, extending the pre-draft period should be celebrated" (FOXSPORTS.com, 5/22).
18-GAME SCHEDULE COMING? Meanwhile, Goodell on Tuesday said that an 18-game regular season "remains a possibility in the future." Goodell: "I think the structure of the season is something that we consistently reevaluate. I have been quite open about (indicating that) we have to address the quality of the preseason. I hear from fans consistently that they want to make every NFL event more valuable. They see the preseason as being less valuable to them because they don’t see the best players and the games do not count" (NATIONALFOOTBALLPOST.com, 5/22).
PLIGHT OF THE JUMBOTRON: In Cincinnati, Paul Daugherty writes, "Football’s blessing is becoming its curse. It’s a beautiful game on TV, and TV is only getting better." So the NFL's solution is to "bring TV into the stadium." It is possible the "next generation of football fans will attend the game and not see it." Daugherty: "If you can’t watch the game on TV when you’re at the stadium, what’s the point? Attending in person means nothing without your personal stash of quality electronics" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/23).